Hindus welcome Lord Shiva statue in prestigious Louvre Abu Dhabi

Upcoming $630 million Louvre Abu Dhabi (LAD) museum will reportedly have Hindu Dancing Shiva statue in its permanent collection.

This tenth century lost-wax bronze from Tamil Nadu (India) of Chola period, 86 centimeters high, has been in the collection of National Gallery of Australia in Canberra till 2009. A video posted on the LAD website explains the meaning behind various parts of the statue.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, commended LAD for including Lord Shiva statue in its permanent collection and urged it to add more Hindu artifacts in its collections. Art had a long and rich tradition in Hinduism and ancient Sanskrit literature talked about religious paintings of deities on wood or cloth, Zed added.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged major art museums of the world, including Musee du Louvre and Musee d’Orsay of Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Los Angeles Getty Center, Uffizi Gallery of Florence (Italy), Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern of London, Prado Museum of Madrid, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, etc., to enrich their collections of Hindu artifacts and to frequently organize Hindu art focused exhibitions, thus sharing the rich Hindu art heritage with the rest of the world.

Claimed to be “a unique and universal museum”, LAD is Abu Dhabi’s collaboration with Musee du Louvre of Paris and “will present major objects from the fields of archaeology, fine arts and decorative arts”.

Built on Saadiyat Island, 700,000-square-foot LAD will loan 300 masterpieces from 13 French museums, including those of Vincent Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Claude Monet, Andy Warhol and Henri Matisse for its opening in December 2015 and will feature paintings, sculptures, masks and vases from pre-Bronze Age to Pop Art, including 4,000-year-old statue of Mesopotamian ruler Gudea. It is claimed to be the largest global cultural project since New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, which opened in 1870.

A superb example of Indian Chola-period bronze casting, this statue represents the Hindu deity Shiva in an iconographic form known as Nataraja, or Lord of the Dance. In Hinduism, Lord Shiva, along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, forms the great triad of Hindu deities. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

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